The microbiome in obstructive sleep apnea

Yi Cai, Hailey M. Juszczak, Emily K. Cope, Andrew N. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent evidence has highlighted important associations between obstructive sleep apnea and the microbiome. Although the intricacies of the pathophysiologic mechanisms are not well understood, available evidence suggests a bidirectional relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and microbiota composition. Sleep fragmentation, intermittent hypoxia, and intermittent hypercapnia all play significant roles in altering the microbiome, and initial evidence has shown that alterations of the microbiota affect sleep patterns. Animal model evidence strongly supports the idea that the microbiome mediates disease states associated with obstructive sleep apnea including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and obesity. While evidence is limited, several studies suggest there may be a role for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea-related comorbidities through alteration of the microbiome with probiotics, prebiotics, and microbiota transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzsab061
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • cardiovascular disease
  • dysbiosis
  • hypertension
  • microbiome
  • microbiota
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • probiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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